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October 6th 2013

05 Oct 2013 ="post-tag" > Written by  ="post-tag" >

Marine Conservation course- 8th October

Whether you're just beginning your new hobby as a scuba diver, or you've been fun diving for a long time, how do you fancy learning more about the underwater realm that you love exploring? Big Blue Conservation is about to begin another BSAC marine conservation course on the 8th October. This amazing 3 day course educates divers in marine biology and ecology, and provides an excellent background to the dangers currently facing coral reefs, such as the effects of overfishing, shark finning, climate change and bad diving techniques. You'll understand how individual processes such as ocean chemistry and plate tectonics interact to shape the oceans and enable life to thrive. You'll gain practical experience on how to improve your buoyancy and air consumption (read Big Blue Instructor training's blog from yesterday to read why this is important), and learn practical conservation skills so that you can contribute to reef conservation projects. The course only costs 7,000 Thai Baht (4,000 for divemaster trainees). Sign up in the Big Blue shop, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at Big Blue Conservation to secure your place.

BSAC marine conservation

“Made my holiday!”

4 of 5 stars Reviewed 29 September 2013- After doing ALOT of shopping around I went with big blue dive school. First day instructor G made us all feel very welcome and excited! First day of course I meet my instructor Thelma. She instantly made us all feel relaxed. To sum it all up these 3 days were just amazing. The element of fun these guys bring into the dives and the amount of passion they have for the sport shines through so bright. Thelma even took time to have dinner and beers with us a couple of times after dives which as a traveler on my own was so lovely. So thanks Big Blue and thanks so much Thelma for MAKING my holiday x

Koh Tao dive sites: Twins

Partially inspired by reading other dive resort's woeful descriptions of Koh Tao's amazing dive sites, Big Blue's middle name is "If we can't do it better than anyone else, why bother even trying".. absolute nightmare introducing yourself at dinner parties.. So lets have a go at describing all the dive sites that we regularly visit that go a little beyond an ordnance survey audiobook. Twins quite simply has everything. It's perfect for any kind of diving, shallow and tame enough for try dives and open water dives one and two, but also interesting enough to keep even the most attentive and obsessive fun diver very happy.

The geology of the dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand can be summed up in one word; granite. For any non-geologists that's a felsic igneous rock comprised of quartz, mica and feldspar. I apologise for the last sentence, it's been 11 years since my last geological confession. Bizarrley if you google "granite coral reef" you get a lot of hits on kitchen worktops. Ok, back to Twins... the dive site runs from East to West, with the shallow pinnacle nearest the beach at Nang Yuang Island ranging from 6 metres to around 11 metres in depth. A lovely but small slab of.. yes, granite, seperates the shallow and middle pinnacles at about 12 metres, and is worth mentioning as there may be the occassional scorpion fish residing on it. Heading westward 20 odd metres from the shallow pinnacle, the middle pinnacle is the largest part of the dive site, and ranges from 8 to 13-ish metres depending on whether you're diving around the edge of the westward side, or hovering above the middle bit. Just off this pinnacle to the Southeast is the nemo circle. Basically it's an area where anenome fish live, not surprisingly on some anemome, and divers have been kind enough to put a load of stones in a circle around it to ward off evil divers. Always worth a quick look, but also the closest you'll probably come to anthropomorphising a fish just because you've seen finding nemo.

A small pinnacle on the far West 10-15 metres further is the third pinnacle, known as the "deep" pinnacle; it sits at around 14-16 metres... Head West beyond this point and you are heading out into the blue, and a long swim back to the boat. You can find all sorts of marine life over the entire dive site, from the typical butterfly and banner fish, to the less common crocodile fish. There does seem to be a lot more batfish here than on most other dive sites, which is never a bad thing. You may be lucky enough to see puffer fish, moray eels, blue-spotted stingrays, 6 banded angel fish, pipe fish, scribbled filefish, nudibranchs, sea snakes, the odd turtle, and even the occassional whaleshark passing through.

One thing I love about twins is that just 20 metres to the north of it, lots of weird and wonderful items have been sunk with the intention of either aiding divers buoyancy, or providing artificial reefs for marine life to grow on. It's probably going to blow your mind to learn that this is known as buoyancy world. We have a concrete lizard, octopus and shark, a weird gallion ship like structure, and a forest-like area of poles for coral to grow onto, all sunk in 2010 as a Save Koh Tai project. Ask instructor Richard Todd about the concrete shark, he had an open water student burst into tears before a dive as they could see the shark from the surface because the visibility was so good. I think his name was butch and he was a shipyard welder from Glasgow, but that's another story. Buoyancy world is also perfect for teaching open water courses and advanced courses as there's no coral to accidentally bang into, it's all just sand. Of all the dive sites on Koh Tao I think it's fair to say that most Big Blue instructors and divemasters rate twins as being one of their favourites. I could go on but i'm pooped after all that, must be the virtual silent bubbles. One final but important point though- the Sergeant Major fish on the picture below are not to scale...

maps

Picture courtesy of Koh Tao Dive guide

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